Sunday, July 23, 2006

Party Animals, Puppy Puberty, and Profuse Prose

Whew! I can barely believe how much of July has whizzed by since my last post! There's good news, though: Pirate, one of my very first blog friends, is back with a new blog, and Pam has revived hers as well. Welcome back, folks!

Look at what passed over our heads this afternoon. Nothing else, aside from maybe a real fire-breathing dragon, can make that whooshing sound.

Party Animals!

Greg, Charlie, and I attended the first annual Beardie Bash and BBQ of our fledgling today. Seamus stayed home to babysit Dinah, who is in the middle of her first season. We decided that it would not be a good time to bring the lovely and talented Miss Burfitt to a dog picnic with intact males about. Since she's only a puppy herself, it just wouldn't do to have a bunch of little Travelers (Trav is her sweetie, and he's very much intact) bouncing around 63 days from now.

Here's a picture of the Lovely One herself:

Despite the rain yesterday and this morning, the heavens managed to smile on us just long enough so we could hold a meeting, grill some burgers, and visit with some people and pups. Charlie had a fine time for himself, and slept all the way home.

I'm really happy about how things turned out for our first meeting. 17 people came, another one or two sent regrets, and we're sure we can find even more members. I didn't even count the number of Beardies who came, but we had a goodly number, and they all had a lovely time romping together in our hosts' yard and nudging the assembled humans for petting and biscuits.

Another Musical Milestone (Almost)

Greg has essentially finished the Sax Quartet this week. He needs to add finishing touches such as dynamic markings and other performance directions, but the composition itself is pretty much done. He's hoping to get the score into the hands of the soon. They were so enthused when they met him in June at the concert. We both hope they like the piece when they receive it -- maybe they'd premiere it, or even consider recording it.


While Dinah has been out of commission as far as her show career is concerned, I've been busy filling out forms and making arrangements for both the Canadian and American Beardie Specialties. Dinah makes her Canadian show debut at the end of August, and we fly to Seattle in mid-September to do some sheep herding, show in the regional specialty, and see her breeders again. They haven't seen Dinah since she left Wales at the age of 10 weeks, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they think of her now. Wonder if she'll remember them.

Dog Show Newbie will have updates on Dinah's shows as soon as we get out there and start showing again. The Canadian Specialty will be her next show.

Socks and More Socks

Dangit, I forgot to take pictures of the nifty pair of socks I knitted for my sister. I think they were from Socka yarn, and they knitted up into sharp-looking stripes of hot pink, turquoise, and yellow, along with a little black and white.

I pulled out part of the second sock I was working in Trekking yarn, and the yarn tangled up to such a degree that I just balled the whole thing up in despair and stuffed it into the bottom of the yarn stash. Trekking is one of the prettiest yarns out there for socks, but mess with it and it'll make you pay Big Time.

Lisa will be tickled to hear that I've cast on the hand-dyed yarn I picked up from her a little while back. The yarn is in her India colorway, which includes regal purple and gold as well as some other shades. They'll make amazing socks, and photos are forthcoming! If you love hand-dyed yarns, want to support the dyeing and spinning habits of a couple of fellow Beardie-loving yarn fanatics, and want to knit something that no one else in the universe will ever have, go on over to Lisa and Kathy's Etsy shop and feast on the colors.

Just before we left for Greg's NYC concert last month, I picked up some cheap-but-cheerful Moda Dea Sassy Stripes yarn to play with on the plane. I'm about 1 3/4 of the way through that pair at the moment. I finished the first sock in Jody's size, and will send that pair to her while I'm untangling that godforsaken Trekking yarn to finish her second "nice" sock.

When I can't really concentrate on what I'm doing or when I'm watching something like a movie with subtitles, I'll cast on sock cuffs. Oddly enough, I don't really suffer from Second Sock syndrome -- I really love to finish up pairs -- but I like to have various stages of socks in the pipeline.

I think that I've completed five pairs of socks now, not counting the ones I balled up and stuffed into the frog pond. They've all been knitted from the same pattern I learned at sock-knitting class. It's time to explore other patterns and possibilities. Maybe the next pair (or five) will come from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet.

Also back in the Frog Pond: the Black Sheep Kristina bag. Things were going so well, and then I misread the graph and accidentally skipped some rows in the repeat pattern. I just haven't had the intestinal fortitude to rip them out and try again.